Nanotechnology pushes battery life to eternity

(PhysOrg.com) -- A simple tap from your finger may be enough to charge your portable device thanks to a discovery made at RMIT University and Australian National University.

5 Sources of Alternative Energy You May Not Have Heard Of

(PhysOrg.com) -- As fossil fuels increasingly fall out of favor, many are looking into alternative energy sources to help us power our lives with a smaller impact on the environment. You already know about solar power and ...

Scientists can now produce electricity from tears

A team of Irish scientists has discovered that applying pressure to a protein found in egg whites and tears can generate electricity. The researchers from the Bernal Institute, University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, observed ...

Generating electricity from vibrations in road surface works

A pilot research project into vibration energy on the N34 provincial motorway near Hardenberg in the eastern Netherlands has shown that vibration energy as a local energy source is a sustainable alternative for the batteries ...

A flexible material that generates electricity when stressed

Researchers from Empa have developed a flexible material that generates electricity when stressed. In future, it might be used as a sensor, integrated into clothing or even implanted in the human body, for instance, to power ...

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Piezoelectricity

Piezoelectricity ( /piˌeɪzoʊˌilɛkˈtrɪsɪti/) is the charge which accumulates in certain solid materials (notably crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins) in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure. It is derived from the Greek piezo or piezein (πιέζειν), which means to squeeze or press, and electric or electron (ήλεκτρον), which stands for amber, an ancient source of electric charge. Piezoelectricity is the direct result of the piezoelectric effect.

The piezoelectric effect is understood as the linear electromechanical interaction between the mechanical and the electrical state in crystalline materials with no inversion symmetry. The piezoelectric effect is a reversible process in that materials exhibiting the direct piezoelectric effect (the internal generation of electrical charge resulting from an applied mechanical force) also exhibit the reverse piezoelectric effect (the internal generation of a mechanical strain resulting from an applied electrical field). For example, lead zirconate titanate crystals will generate measurable piezoelectricity when their static structure is deformed by about 0.1% of the original dimension. Conversely, those same crystals will change about 0.1% of their static dimension when an external electric field is applied to the material.

Piezoelectricity is found in useful applications such as the production and detection of sound, generation of high voltages, electronic frequency generation, microbalances, and ultrafine focusing of optical assemblies. It is also the basis of a number of scientific instrumental techniques with atomic resolution, the scanning probe microscopies such as STM, AFM, MTA, SNOM, etc., and everyday uses such as acting as the ignition source for cigarette lighters and push-start propane barbecues.

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